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Published: 18:36 | 16/1/16

Ulster 'hurting pretty badly'

Clarke rues defeat to Saracens

Ulster forwards coach Allen Clarke says his players are “hurting pretty badly” following Saturday’s European Champions Cup defeat to Saracens.

The Premiership leaders beat Les Kiss’ side 33-17 at Allianz Park to progress to the quarter-finals of Europe’s premier trophy with one round of matches to spare.

“We hurt ourselves today,” Clarke told BBC Sport Northern Ireland.

“You have to give credit to Saracens. They put a lot of pressure on us and they are a physical side.

“But, having said that, we are hurting pretty badly because of our inaccuracies. You have to be right on the money in terms of the quality of ball you provide, and we weren’t today.”

“We prepared for them, knowing that they would be the toughest opponents we would face this season. We were right in it, and our biggest frustration is that we didn’t help our cause today.

It is not all bad news for Ulster, as the Pro 12 side can still also make the quarter-finals despite failing to secure a bonus point against Mark McCall’s side.

The Irish province are second in Pool One with 13 points, and could take one of the three qualification runners-up spots with victory over Oyonnax at Ravenhill next weekend.

“We have to face that hurt, get back home, train well and prepare to take on Oyonnax next week,” Clarke continued.

“We know what we have to do next week.”

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